SIRâ€”Watching Minister Nyombi Tembo on TV sitting next to FDCâ€™s Beti Kamya intelligently debating national issues, he cuts a figure of civility and good sense. But some of the points he makes about media freedom need close scrutiny.
He makes the critical point that the watchdog role of the media should be dispensed responsibly so as not to injure national security. I donâ€™t think, that it is pedantic to pose the question as to what constitutes national security.
Does national security embrace not only national sovereignty, but also the security of the citizens? Can the actions of government, elected or not, also endanger national and regional security?
The minister cautions against foreign interests infiltrating the local media, especially where ownership is foreign. He is in line with current trends in Africa that stress the right of Africans to determine their own political destiny in contrast to neo-colonialism.
But how do African governments justify holding onto colonial laws such as sedition or detention without trial that served colonial purposes? Is it not true that in some cases foreign governments and organisations are better advocates of our rights than our own?
Rev Amos Kasibante
Nyombi, what makes up national security?